FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Competition Bureau must investigate Bell, Rogers’ Internet rate-fixing

ISP files formal Complaint, as +150,000 Canadians urge federal cabinet to uphold CRTC ruling  

February 20, 2020Chatham, Ontario. TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TekSavvy), Canada’s largest independent internet service provider (“ISP”), today filed a formal Complaint with the Competition Bureau (Bureau), seeking an investigation into a pattern of anti-competitive activities in wholesale and retail markets for Internet services on the part of Bell Canada (Bell) and Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (Rogers).  A public version of the Complaint is available here

The Complaint states that Bell and Rogers’ wholesale divisions drove up competitors’ costs, while Bell and Rogers’ retail divisions target those competitors with “fighting brand” retail prices below their wholesale costs – which Bell and Rogers wrongfully inflated. The Complaint notes that Bell and Rogers’ wholesale rate manipulation resulted in higher retail prices for Internet services in Canada’s largest markets – costing millions of Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars. 

The Complaint refers the Bureau to numerous findings of fact by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which determined that Bell and Rogers deviated from its wholesale rate-setting rules 56 times between 2016 and 2019, systematically inflating rates for retail competitors of Bell and Rogers – in some cases by over 900%.  Despite the CRTC’s “very disturbing” findings of fact, which Bell and Rogers do not contest, and the CRTC’s 2019 order requiring Bell and Rogers’ to correct their inflated rates and return amounts unjustly extracted from their competitors, Bell and Rogers have obtained a stay of the decision, and petitioned the federal cabinet to overturn it.  

Over 150,000 Canadians have voiced their support for the CRTC’s decision and urged the federal cabinet to support lower Internet and cell phone bills.    

“These companies must be held accountable for their anti-competitive activities” said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, TekSavvy’s VP Regulatory and Carrier Affairs. “Cabinet should not only reject their petitions, but take action to bring down Internet prices while the CRTC opens up the mobile sector to competition too” noting TekSavvy has registered as a proposed MVNO and partnered with Ericsson as it invests in rural LTE networks in Southwestern Ontario.  

“These kind of anti-competitive activities are the reason why Canadians pay among the very highest prices for Internet and Mobile services in the world” said Janet Lo, VP Consumer Legal Affairs. “Cabinet should not only reject the Petitions immediately but do everything in its power to see its policy goals met: Deliver lower Internet and cell phone bills and protect consumer interests.”  

About TekSavvy 

TekSavvy has been proudly serving Canadians with reliable telecom services for more than 20 years and has won numerous awards for the quality of its service and for its commitment to fighting for consumers’ rights online. With offices in Chatham, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec TekSavvy is Canada’s largest independent telecom service company with over 300,000 customers from coast to coast. 

Trevor Campbell, 
The iPR Group 647-201-5409 

Or 

John Settino, 
The iPR Group 416-662-2955 
media.relations@teksavvy.ca